Sometimes well-meaning initiatives send unintended messages.
The country's most recognizable advocacy group against underage drinking might want to rethink the message it's sending in the decision to market a line of nonalcoholic beverages called MADD Virgin Drinks.
MADD's national president, Laura Dean-Mooney, said the faux margaritas, mojitos, pina coladas, beer and wine will provide hosts the option to serve drinks with "the great taste needed to make guests feel like they are part of the party — but without alcohol."
Nothing like perpetuating the notion that to be part of the party, you either need to drink or to be seen as drinking.
Because the beverages are nonalcoholic, they may be legally consumed by teens. Nothing like acquiring a taste for the unleaded stuff before switching to high-test.
The responsible use of alcohol shouldn't be viewed as an evil, nor should it be glamorized. But there's more than a whiff of mixed message when an organization that's never been shy about criticizing the marketing strategies of beverage companies uses this kind of product to help fill its coffers.
To read the complete editorial, visit The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.